Quantcast
Latest Stories

Medical Files

Disaster preparedness

By

After the massive flooding due to Tropical Storm “Ondoy” several years ago, Sherma Benosa, a former editor of H&L ( Health & Lifestyle)  magazine, makes sure she always has a rope in their house. This is part of her disaster preparedness plan.

“Disasters can happen to anyone, anytime. I don’t want to be caught unprepared,” she says.

She recalls that during the massive flash floods of Ondoy, she, her father and a 3-year-old nephew, had to swim in neck-deep flood water to get to safety. “After that experience, I had become more safety- and preparedness-obsessed,” she says.

Since then, she has drawn out “escape plans” from her apartment and prepared all the stuff she and others would need to get them to safety. The rope is just one of the many “escape tools” she bought.

Sherma stresses that disaster preparedness is not only a responsibility to be undertaken by the government. It is also a function of families and individuals. “During emergency, the only way we could help in rescue efforts is by getting ourselves to safety on our own, so that rescue workers could focus on others who may be in worse situation,” she explains.

The typhoon season is once again around, and as many notice, they seem to be getting stronger and stronger. One can indeed be doing one’s family a big favor by making sure they’re adequately covered for any emergency just in case it happens. In her article in next month’s issue of H&L, Sherma will share the following emergency preparedness pointers which she herself practices.

1Do preventive measures. Doing preventive measures is the best preparation for any emergency. Ensure that your house is safe, and the tree in your backyard has been trimmed to reduce the possibility of it getting uprooted, or at least minimize the damage it would cause in case it does get uprooted. Buy your groceries beforehand so you wouldn’t have to go out amid strong rains and howling winds and put yourself in danger. Make sure you have flashlights and a battery-operated radio available.

Do preventive maintenance even when no actual forecast has been made. During summer, have your roofs and walls, especially your electric wirings, checked. Many fire breakouts are caused by faulty electrical wiring.

2Put your “Escape Docs” in a ready-to-grab bag. Simply have your important documents (passports, contracts, property titles, IDs, etc.) in a ready-to-grab bag, preferably waterproof. Let everyone in the house know that it is the first thing to be secured in case of emergency—that is, if there is still ample time to grab it and run to safety.

3Prepare emergency kits (clothes, extra IDs,) in a ready-to-grab box. This is so that in case of emergency, you wouldn’t waste time thinking of what things to pack and actually pack them. With your basic things ready, you will have more time to think of other things you need to bring with you, or in case there is no more time, just grab your kit and run to safety.

4Have a disaster/rescue plan for your pets. It makes one feel bad to see in the papers pictures of pets left behind by their owners during flooding. Prepare a carrier that could contain them all.

5If you are not in your place (say you’re in a hotel, workplace, etc.), always take note of emergency exits and where the fire extinguishers are. And it would also be great to discuss with your companions, especially children, your escape plans in case of emergency—where to meet each other or where to go to should you lose each other during the emergency and the chaos that might ensue.

6Don’t panic. Tips 2-5 would be useless if you panic during an actual emergency. In times of disaster, the only way you could increase your likelihood of escape is by not losing your mind. When you lose your mind during emergency, you not only put yourself in more danger but also others. And you might not be able to do the sensible thing to do during emergency.

Well, as they say, it’s better to be prepared than be sorry.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: column , disaster preparedness , Health , Rafael Castillo

  • Pilipinas Blogger

    Include prayers.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace